Our Boy Scout troop had a 1 night winter camp-out last night. They stay right in town on the front lawn of the charter org. church (right on main street!). It's funny to see the tents set up there in that small space! However, last night it was SO foggy because it was warm (45 degrees), but with snow on the ground yet... so you couldn't even see them the short distance from the road. I guess the night went well and they did a "hike" to Wendy's for bedtime snack! Then they hiked about 3 miles in the morning to the local park (the cooks rode there to get breakfast cooking). That all went well and they started the day with about 5 of the older boys in the troop and 8 of my son's group who bridged up in March and 5 more brand new guys who bridged at the end of November. First was totin' chip. It was supposed to go for an hour- they brought in a guest speaker from the district level to work with the boys. It ended up being nearly 2 and a half hours. Even when it was clear that they were nowhere near done, the one guy kept reporting back to the other leaders that they were close to being done. However, it was a fantastic program- and he took his time with every scout learning to do each part fairly well. The next part was supposed to be 3 round robin sessions on compass, maps, measuring height and distance, and something with a knot. They killed the knot thing and shortened the time that the older boys had to teach their part to the younger guys. And then they cooked lunch (around 2:30 they served lunch... very late!) This was supposed to be when my time ended for teaching the map compass stuff again and preparing them for the orienteering course. It all worked out and I skipped some extra stuff I wanted to do with them. Most guys had a decent amount of success, but there was some following that happened... but what can you do with snow and mud like we saw! The fog finally lifted and we saw about 4 minutes of sun around 3:00pm. And the temps were mid 60's! Amazing weather... we have photos of the boys with t-shirts on and snow all over! So much for winter camping and testing of equipment... I think many will have a false sense of security.
I couldn't stay for anything after that because I had to help my daughter get ready for her 8th grade semi-formal dance. But I did drive up to the park several more times... to take up our portion of the pot-luck dinner (that only my scout could enjoy since the rest of us had to be elsewhere), to take some supplies they asked for from the store, and to pick up at the end... so 5 trips in 1 day- ugh! The boys all came home tired and happy- so even though I think there's a BIG communication problem among the leaders, it somehow worked out again- good enough.